Gloy Glue History

Are you curious about the fascinating history of Gloy Glue?

Well, get ready to dive into the world of this iconic adhesive that has left an indelible mark in the annals of glue history.

Gloy Glue, once a staple in British classrooms and offices, holds a unique place in the history of adhesives. This article delves into the intriguing journey of Gloy Glue, from its humble beginnings as a simple starch-based adhesive to becoming a household name and eventually, its gradual fade from the market.

Gloy Glue, a notable product in the adhesive market, was made from a simple yet effective blend of dextrin and magnesium chloride. This formulation made it suitable for paper applications, offering quick-setting properties but relatively low bond strength. Its popularity, particularly in British classrooms, waned due to the rise of competing products like Pritt Stick. The Gloy brand, after changing hands to Henkel Kommanditgesellschaft Auf Aktien, gradually faded from the market, leaving behind a legacy of its past effectiveness and reliability in the adhesive industry.

History of the Gloy Brand

The Swift Polish & Blacking Manufacturing, initially located in Hounslow, London, evolved into Kirkwood, Craig & Co Ltd, a sister company of A. Wilme Collier Ltd, which had been producing adhesive pastes since 1907 at the 8th Avenue Works, Manor Park, London. These companies collectively participated in the British Industries Fair in 1922, showcasing various adhesives, including the “Gloy” adhesive paste.

A. Wilme Collier Ltd, known for making Gloy adhesive paste, Dex photo mountant, and Gluak, a vegetable glue for book-binding, operated the 8th Avenue Works in 1939. The vegetable glues they produced, mainly dextrins derived from starch were used for paper adhesion due to their fast-setting nature and adequate bond strength for paper, though susceptible to microbial attack.

In 1967, Associated Adhesives Limited, which had evolved from these companies, was a maker of synthetic and rubber adhesives. Eventually, A. Wilme Collier Limited and Kirkwood Craig Co. became dormant companies owned by Unilever, and the “Gloy” trademark was sold to Henkel Kommanditgesellschaft Auf Aktien. However, Gloy Glue is no longer on the market.

What was Gloy Glue?

You may be familiar with Gloy Glue, also known as Gloy Gum, which was a widely popular clear glue in Britain’s classrooms. It boasted a staggering 99.9 percent penetration rate. Gloy Glue had various uses, from sticking crêpe paper to attaching cutouts for art projects. Its ingredients included a clear adhesive compound, which provided a strong and long-lasting hold. Gloy gained immense popularity due to its reliability and ease of use, as it came in plastic squeezy bottles with a convenient dispenser.

However, Gloy Glue’s historical significance was overshadowed by the rise of Pritt Stick, a competing adhesive that eventually replaced it in classrooms. Despite its decline, Gloy Glue remains nostalgic for many, with some fondly remembering the satisfaction of peeling dried bits off the bottle and rolling them between their fingers.

What was Gloy Glue made from?

Gloy Glue was made from a unique dextrin and magnesium chloride blend, creating a fast-setting adhesive. The Gloy Glue manufacturing process involved mixing the dextrin, derived from starch, with the magnesium chloride, which acted as a coagulant to increase viscosity. This combination resulted in a glue that was perfect for paper applications due to its fast-setting properties.

However, it should be noted that the bond strength of vegetable glues like Gloy was relatively low. In terms of historical uses, Gloy Glue was widely used in the paper industry thanks to its quick drying time. As for its environmental impact, Gloy Glue, being made from natural ingredients, was considered to have a relatively low environmental impact compared to synthetic adhesives.

Gloy Glue Sticks

Gloy Glue sticks appear to be the only Gloy branded product still in wide distribution. Gloy Glue Sticks are the perfect choice for any classroom, offering high quality and value. These glue sticks are ideal for crafting applications, whether gluing paper, card, or board.

Gloy Glue sticks’ smooth and even application allows for easy repositioning of objects before they fully dry, making it perfect for young children or those new to gluing. The airtight cap keeps the glue fresh and usable for several years without drying out.

Is Gloy Glue Safe for the Environment?

Regarding environmental impact, Gloy glue sticks are solvent-free and non-toxic, making them safe for children and the environment. They are also washable at 20°c, ensuring that clothes stay clean and free from glue stains. Additionally, Gloy glue stick tubes are made from 100% recyclable PP5 plastics, making them an eco-friendly choice.

For those looking for alternatives to Gloy glue sticks, there are various colors and finishes available to suit different crafting needs. Gloy glue sticks also come in a miniature 20g size, perfect for smaller hands and gluing smaller areas.

To use Gloy glue sticks effectively, it’s recommended to apply the glue smoothly and evenly, allowing for repositioning if needed. It’s important to keep the cap tightly closed after use to maintain the glue’s freshness.


In conclusion, Gloy Glue was a popular adhesive brand known for its strong bonding properties. It was made from a unique formulation that included various chemicals and solvents.

Over time, however, the Gloy brand faced challenges due to increasing competition in the adhesive market. As a result, the brand ultimately lost its market share and was discontinued.

Despite its downfall, Gloy Glue remains a part of adhesive history, known for its effectiveness and reliability.

About the author

Jennifer is a stay-at-home Mom who loves everything DIY and crafting. She contributes to Just Use Glue in order to share her practical knowledge of how to glue all the things.

Leave a Comment